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What is Personal Selling?

Think about the persons who come to you to sell goods and commodities. What do they do? They show certain variety of goods to you, try to explain the features of the products, if required they demonstrate the functioning of the items, inform you about the price concession available, persuade you to buy the product and also in some cases promises you to bring certain items of your choice in future. So not only do they inform and explain to you about the product but also persuade you to buy those items and want you to buy from them in future also. On the other hand, you also gather more information about the product, see and handle it personally to judge it better. The person who sells goods to you in this way is called a salesman and the technique of selling is known as personal selling or salesmanship What is Personal Selling? Personal selling refers to the presentation of goods before the potential buyers and persuading them to purchase it. It involves face-to-face interaction and physical verification of the goods to be purchased. The objective is not only just to sell the product to a person but also to make him/her a permanent customer. You can also find personal selling in some shops where salesmen are employed by the shopkeeper to use this technique. For example, you can find such salesmen in jewellery stores, consumer goods stores, etc. Personal selling refers to the presentation of goods and services before the customers and convincing or persuading them to buy the products or services. Essential Elements of Personal Selling Flexibility Adapt to situations Engage in dialogue Builds Relationships Long term Ensure buyers receive appropriate services

Solves customers problems 1. Face-to-Face interaction: Personal selling involves a salesmen having face-to-face interaction with the prospective buyers. 2. Promotion of sales: The ultimate objective of personal selling is to promote sales by convincing more and more customers to use the product 3. Supply of Information: Personal selling provides information to the customers regarding availability of the product, special features, uses and utility of the products. So it is an educative process. 4. Mutual Benefit: It is a two-way process. Both seller and buyer derive benefit from it. While customers feel satisfied with the goods, the seller enjoys the profits Nature of Personal Selling Gives marketers: v The greatest freedom to adjust a message to satisfy customers informational needs, dynamic. v Most precision, enabling marketers to focus on most promising leads. vs. advertising, publicity and sales promotion v Give more information v Two way flow of information, interactivity. v Discover the strengths and weaknesses of new products and pass this information on to the marketing department. v Highest cost. Businesses spend more on personal selling than on any other form of promotional mix. v Goals range from: Finding prospects Convincing prospects to buy Keeping customers satisfied--help them pass the word along. Personal Selling Tasks Order Getting Seeking out customers New Business Development Creative selling

Pioneering Account management Order Taking Routine Writing up orders Checking invoices Assuring prompt order processing Suggestive selling The Personal Selling Process 1. Prospecting and Evaluating Seek names of prospects through sales records, referrals etc., also responses to advertisements. Need to evaluate if the person is able (Undergraduate degree to attend a graduate program), willing and authorized to buy. Blind prospecting-rely on phone directory etc. 2. Pre-approach (Preparing) Review key decision makers especially for business to business, but also family assess credit histories prepare sales presentations identify product needs. Helps present the presentation to meet the prospects needs. 3. Approaching the Customer This process commences with self introduction in the same manner in which the sales person contacts the potential customer. First impression of the sales person is lasting and therefore important. Strive to develop a relationship rather than just push the product. Can be based on referrals, cold calling or repeat contact 4. Opening the Sales Interview This involves the immediate creation of rapport through the use of information acquired during the pre- approach stage. 5. Making the Presentation Need to attract and hold the prospects Attention to stimulate Interest and stir up Desire in the product so the potential customer takes the appropriate Action. AIDA -Try to get the prospect to touch, hold or try the product. Must be able to change the presentation to meet the prospect needs.

6. Handling Objections Seek out objections and address them. Anticipate and counter them before the prospect can raise them. Try to avoid bringing up objections that the prospect would not have raised. Price objection is the most common 7. Closing Ask prospect to buy product/products. Use trial closes, IE ask about financial terms, preferred method of delivery. 20% sales people generally close 80% sales. Popular closing techniques: Trial Close (Minor decision close) Assumptive close (Implied consent close) Urgency close Ask for the sale close 8. Following Up Must follow up sale; determine if the order was delivered on time, installation OK etc. Also helps determine the prospects future needs. Follow Up Accomplishes four objectives: i. Customer gain short term satisfaction ii. Referrals are stimulated iii. In the long run, repurchase iv. Prevent cognitive dissonance Advantages of Personal Selling 1. One key advantage personal selling has over other promotional methods is that it is a two-way form of communication. In selling situations the message sender (e.g., salesperson) can adjust the message as they gain feedback from message receivers (e.g., customer). 2. It is Flexible - So if a customer does not understand the initial message (e.g., doesnt fully understand how the product works) the salesperson can make adjustments to address questions or concerns. Many non-personal forms of promotion, such as a radio advertisement, are inflexible, at least in the shortterm, and cannot be easily adjusted to address audience questions.

3. The interactive nature of personal selling also makes it the most effective promotional method for building relationships with customers, particularly in the business-to-business market. This is especially important for companies that either sell expensive products or sell lower cost but high volume products (i.e., buyer must purchase in large quantities) that rely heavily on customers making repeat purchases. Because such purchases may take a considerable amount of time to complete and may involve the input of many people at the purchasing company (i.e., buying centre), sales success often requires the marketer develop and maintain strong relationships with members of the purchasing company. 4. Personal selling is the most practical promotional option for reaching customers who are not easily reached through other methods. The best example is in selling to the business market where, compared to the consumer market, advertising, public relations and sales promotions are often not well received

Disadvantages of Personal Selling 1. Intruding nature of the method - The biggest disadvantage of selling is the degree to which this promotional method is misunderstood. Most people have had some bad experiences with salespeople who they perceived were overly aggressive or even downright annoying. 2. It is expensive maintaining this type of promotional effort due to the high per-contact cost involved. Costs incurred in personal selling include high cost-per-action and training costs. 3. Job turnover in sales is often much higher than other marketing positions 4. Can not reach mass audience 5. Numerous calls needed to generate sale 6. Labour intensive Qualities of Sales-person Engaged In Personal Selling 1. Physical Quality: A salesman should have a good appearance and an impressive personality. He should also have a sound health.

2. Mental Quality: should posses certain mental qualities like imagination, initiative, self-confidence, sharp memory, alertness etc. He should be able to understand the needs and preferences of customers. 3. Integrity of character: should posses the qualities of honesty and integrity. He is to gain the confidence of the customers. He should be able to understand their needs and guide them how to satisfy those needs. His employer too should have faith in him. A salesman should be loyal both to the employer and to the customers 4. Knowledge of the product and the company: should have full knowledge of the product and the company he is representing. He should be able to explain each and every aspect of the product i.e. its qualities, how to use it, what precautions to be taken, etc. He should be able to explain the business and service record of the company. He should also have knowledge of products of rival companies. So that he can put across the superiority of his own products. 5. Good behaviour: should be co-operative and courteous. Good behaviour enables one to win the confidence of the customers. He should not feel irritated if the buyer puts up many questions even if the questions are irrelevant. It is also not necessary that the person he is trying to convince buys the product. The salesman has to remain and courteous in every case. 6. Ability to persuade: should be good in conversation so that he can engage the person he is attending in conversation. He should be able to convince him and create the desire in his mind to posses the commodity

Essential Qualities/Traits of a salesman: 1. Sound health A salesman should posses a sound and physique in order to become efficient. A salesman who is not healthy cannot maintain a pleasing appearance. He will also not be able carry on his duties efficiently. 2. Good posture Good posture enhances the appearance and personality of the salesman. A salesman should maintain an alluring posture, i.e. he should stand erect or sit erect while meeting a customer. It makes a good impression on the customer. Therefore the salesman should try to acquire certain good posture in order to attract customers. 3. Pleasant voice Voice is the index of ones own feelings than the facial expression. The quality and the tone of the voice also have its influence on the hearer. The salesman should have pleasant, clear and forceful voice. The voice should not be coarse, high pitched, shrill, commanding or nasal. These types of voices generally irritate customers. 4. Good appearance A good physical appearance is a big asset for salesman. The first impression on the customer is created by the appearance of the salesman. A good appearance generally gives more confidence to a salesman and he is able to convince the customers more easily. The appearance of the salesman may be divided into 3 important segments: 1. Cleanliness, 2. Grooming and 3. Clothes.

5. Cheerfulness Cheerfulness is the greatest virtue of a good salesman. Everyone wants to be with persons, who are cheerful. If the salesman is cheerful, possesses a good health, vigour and a rich sense of humor, then he can attract large number of customers. 6. Imagination It is an important consideration which detects the exact need of the customers. This quality helps the salesman to understand the problems of customers in his position. But it is depressing to see in India that many salesmen have absolutely no imagination. 7. Alertness Alertness refers to active sensitivity to the situation before oneself. It is nothing but presence of mind as to what to say, how to say and on what occasion. It consists of keen power of observation and common sense to take correct decisions quickly. 8. Resourcefulness It is a mental ability to think and find out alternatives. It includes devising new approaches to make people do what you want them to do. Resourcefulness has great role to play in salesmanship. 9. Initiative Initiative is the ability to work on his own without any guidance from anybody. It is very useful quality for success in dealing with customers. Of course, in early stages a salesman has to work under the supervision and guidance of senior salesman. But in course of time, he has to depend upon himself and take independent decisions. 10. Observation Power of observation is another important quality of a salesman. A good salesman must be a keen observer. He should observe the changes in style, fashion of people, activities of rivals,

Government policies, general attitude of customers and other things. 11. Self-confidence Self-confidence is another important quality, which every salesman should possess. The salesman should keep Selfconfidence both on himself and the goods he sells to the customers. A salesman lacking Self-confidence can not convince his customer properly or overcome his objections. 12. Memory Sharp memory is another important attribute of a salesman. Sharp memory refers to capacity to recognize this customer, recall his past interviews with them, recalling their requirements and suggestions. As a matter of fact, lack of memory is responsible for committing many errors. For this purpose, it is better for a salesman to keep a notebook and write important points for future reference. 13. Sociability It refers to ability of salesman to meet the public and make friends with them. A true salesman must be an extrovert, i.e., a man who likes mixing with people in every type of situation. Moreover, he should not hesitate to meet unknown persons. He must be a friend, philosophers and guide to customers. 14. Enthusiasm A salesman should be enthusiastic; otherwise he will fail to create interest in the minds of the prospects. Enthusiasm creates assurance in the minds of the buyers for a salesmans products and services. 15. Tact A salesman should be a man of tact. Tact means doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way. It further includes mental

awareness of the salesman to tackle all kinds of situations. However, tact should not mean cheating or cunningness. Tact or diplomacy helps in avoiding objections, obstacles in sales programme. 16. Court-operation The modern salesman has to face several challenges in the market for better business. To meet these challenges a salesman should have a good co-operation with customers, fellow salesmen and employer. The customers depend upon the salesman to a great extent for selecting products. He (salesman) should extend full co-operation and help to them (customers) by recommending the best product to suit their needs. 17. Courtesy There is a saying that Courtesy costs nothing but returns high dividend. This particularly holds good in the field of salesmanship. Courtesy is a mixture of politeness and consideration. It is an indication of refinement and culture. The salesman must be polite, modest, and courteous to turn the hearts of customers. 18. Patience and tolerance Patience and tolerance take a very important place in the development of a salesman. A salesman to become successful must be extremely patient in dealing with a buyer. In no case he should lose his temper, but to show a spirit impatient and angry, but a salesman should remain calm and cool. 19. Effective speech A salesman should be a good conversationalist. Ability to speak correctly and clearly impresses the customers favourably. The sales talk should be clear, pleasant and persuasive, but not like the situations; each situation may have to be treated in a special manner. The salesman should have a good command over English

and other languages, sweet voice, clear pronunciation, fluent expressions, etc. 20. Honesty The salesman should be extremely and thoroughly honest. An honest salesman is liked by every customer. While dealing with a customer, the salesman must be true and frank about the products he wants to sell. He should not misrepresent or exaggerate facts. If a salesman cheats a customer, that customer is lost forever. 21. Integrity Integrity of a salesman is an important trait in his character. Integrity means uprightness of character, moral soundness, good behavior, honesty, fulfillment of promises, and strength of character. A salesman who does not have integrity of character will not be in a position to create good impression upon his employer, fellow salesman and customers. 22. Loyalty Loyalty means willingness of obey. Loyalty of a salesman can be classified into four groups :(i) loyalty to the organization, (ii) loyalty to the customers, (iii) loyalty to the fellow-workers. 23. Reliability A salesman should be trustworthy and reliable. He should take his work seriously and with responsibility. He should not give exaggerated promises. He must be truthful in his statements and honest in his dealings. If a salesman is reliable, customers will have no fear of being cheated while purchasing goods from him. 24. Industriousness It refers to the ability to work hard to achieve a goal. Unless a salesman works hard, it is very difficult for him to acquire the detailed knowledge of the customers and product. Absent a result

he cannot achieve his targeted sales. The salesman, therefore, must remain active both mentally and physically. Dullness should be avoided. 25. Courage It refers to moral strength of a person. Sometimes a salesman may commit mistakes and make false promises, which may lead to an unpleasant atmosphere. But a good salesman must have enough courage to face such situations boldly. He should be daring enough to take risk and should be firm in his decisions. 26. Sincerity Sincerity is another good quality of a successful salesman. A sincere salesman attends his customers sincerely and explains them all the merits and demerits of the product. He also attends to the customers promptly. A sincere salesman does not face any difficulty to achieve his target. 27. Maturity Maturity refers to balance of mind. A salesman should be matured. He should accept gracefully both criticisms and praises. Equal weight age should be given to both for and against. Maturity compels a salesman to think before he takes any action. 28. Determination Determination is nothing but will to succeed and go ahead. Patience and perseverance are the ingredients of strong determination towards his duties and responsibilities. At times he may face resistance from the customers but it should not distract him from his original aims. He should work patiently and calmly to achieve the predetermined target.

A Successful Sales Person Is

1. Prompt 2. Hard working 3. Ethical 4. Always listening 5. Asking the right questions 6. Sincere 7. Creative 8. Full of empathy 9. Positive 10. Organized 11. Attentive to detail 12. Thoroughly prepared 13. Good humored 14. Focused 15. Resourceful 16. Informed about his products 17. Informed about his industry 18. Informed about his competitors 19. Thick skinned, resilient 20. Aggressive 21. Flexible 22. Quick thinking 23. Tough minded 24. Skilled in writing 25. Skilled in marketing 26. Skilled in math 27. Skilled in reading 28. Well rounded 29. Emotionally balanced 30. Self confident 31. Passionate about her work 32. Willing to take risks 33. Competitive

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Patient Practical Persistent A strategist A tactician Curious Generous


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Become an old pro. Make selling your second nature. Dont forget simple things. Program your mind to become a number 1 salesman. Be consistent with your selling process and strategies. Motivate your customer to action. Start fast from where you are. Do not have a price obsession. Have a customer satisfaction obsession. Tell the full story. Focus on closing the sales. Find out what the customer wants and give it to them. Get them talking. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

Keep your selling process simple. Be a salesperson 24 hours a day. Dont be a robot. Be a human. The power of cheerful selling. Master your standard sales approach. Master your fears. Let the prospect know at once what you can do for them. Be bold to get your sales interview. Choose the right words that convey believability and right meaning.



Watch out for the little things that will make your customers happy. Be friendly with your customers. Sell in a way that deserves and not command success. Remove cosmetics from your selling. Sell it cold. Be decent to other sales persons. Be both buyer and seller in your mind.

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Improve your objection skills. Be the better sales man. Make them your friends. See more people. Try a friendly smile. Try to close at every opportunity. Make more calls. Make a good presentation.


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Learn how to handle difficult clients. Make a blue print of prospects. Understand and work with buyers habits. Learn how to sell the observant prospect. Learn how to sell husband and wife prospects. Put showmanship into your selling. Use qualifying interviews to sell. Know peoples habits to sell them.


Ask every prospect to buy. Use questions to answer questions. Use the sales formula that works everytime. Make the customer talk. Be direct in your selling. Quality always win. Do more of soft selling. Make them ask questions. Be good with telephone sell.

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Pin the prospect down with some questions. Use testimonials. Have a positive mental attitude. Dont show too much products/services. Blast away complacency in buyers. Avoid misunderstanding. Think for your customers and sell them what they want. Use the power of why to turn a staller into buyer. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Be nice to those you dont like. Learn to ignore objections. Keep selling. Bounce back from turn downs. Have chasers ready to overcome resistance. Learn what customers think.


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Guarantee yourself enough customers. Check their interest. Make use of selling aids. Know the best time to call. Tear down stiff resistance. Avoid excusitis. Dont pass the buck. Apply faith. Spend money on calls.


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Selling is 75% facts. Communicating is 90% feeling. Use metaprograms for selling. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Sell with conviction. Never talk your way out of a sale. Close on resistance. Heed others opinions in closing. Ask for action from your client. Prove your claims. Remember the fundamental closing techniques. Handle 3 difficult buyers. Avoid eye lock. Close from the start. Act it out. Understand the 3 keys to sales. Speak the truth. Pulling out a last one. Learn the 12 tested ways to close.


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Stick to principles. Master the competition you meet. Do not be discouraged. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Be impersonal about competition. Have a competitive spirit. Outdeserve your competitors. Keep in touch between calls. Avoid getting even. Be a friend to your competitors. Be a friend to your client. Sell from the customer side of the fence. Set great goals. Self control. Persistence. Potray a pleasant personality. Use a pleasant voice. Cuddle the customer. Dont give up. Try again. Have enthusiasm. Use internal and external sales method.

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Be polite. Be punctual. Write more letters. Care for them. Be grateful. Avoid being confrontational. Learn the power of Thank you. Remember the 3 magic letters. Dont whip yourself. Learn from gentle people.


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Dedication. Narrow down your territory. Persistence. Personality. Perception. Be a 9 to 6 person. Be a good decision maker. Be a good communicator. Always make that extra call. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

Understand the salespersons triangle. Keep selling. Plan your sale. Plan your day. Plan your territory. Dont forget what made you. Work yourself to the top. Cut out if. Keep your tempo. Tell your neighbour. Keep your sales funnel busy. Aim a little bit higher. Keep a customer file. Keep track of your customer. Learn from mistakes. Have a positive positive mental attitude. Study. Check your horse power.


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Knowledge of human nature. Cheerfulness. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Courtesy. Imagination. Enthusiasm. Alertness. Tact. Faith. Neatness. Pleasant personality.


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Know your product thoroughly. Put a fresh idea in your sales story. Never neglect a prospect. Present your sales story in orderly fashion. Strengthen your cause by showing samples. Use your samples with ease. Make plenty of calls. Dont waste time answering minor objections. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Have convincing answers to important objections. Dont argue. Make complete sales presentation. Dont talk yourself out of an order.


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Better health. More money. Greater popularity. More leisure. Praise from others. Security. Advancement. Improved appearance. Pride of accomplishment. Increased enjoyment. Savings of money, time and effort. Self respect.